Freshman Cover or Not, Squidnice is Next Up

“Everybody just has to be themselves, and they will be alright — instead of just trying to fit into a character.”

The irony of life; people often say one thing, while their actions show another thing entirely. All that talk about accepting who we are is cool, but only if it matches with one’s true character. Emerging 21-year-old New York rapper Squidnice cuts through all the bullshit. The Staten Island-resident speaks the truth, and his music is a reflection of his reality.

Squid is direct when he explains what ‘average rap’ means to him. “It’s rhyming to a beat and doing what people expect you to do with it … being the artist people expect you to be,” he told AAHH during a recent phone interview. “Everybody just has to be themselves, and they will be alright — instead of just trying to fit into a character.”

The young artist is a reminder of what “realness” is during a time where realness is overlooked.

Squid raps clearly, laying gritty images of the streets and ‘trapping.’ It all started at the age of 12 when he realized he wanted to take rap seriously. “I remember rapping with my friends,” he says, “rapping in school [and saying] this is what I want to do.” Growing up in the small town of Port Richmond, he was surrounded by drugs and gang activity; he wanted to stay true to his hometown, but all along had dreams of making it big and getting out of that lifestyle.

He grew up listening to not only some of NYC’s most iconic names like Mobb Deep and the late Notorious B.I.G but also prominent dancehall. “I love all music,” he notes. When asked if he feels any pressure being the next biggest thing coming out of Staten since Wu-Tang-Clan, his answer is simple an assertive no. “I think I have a pretty great chance,” he says, noting he has a lot of support from his friends he grew up with as well as his hometown on the whole.

Coming off his The Craccen’ EP, which dropped last year, Squid shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. He’s developed a (healthy) habit of dropping buzzing tracks like his trap anthem “Trap by My Lonely,” produced by Lil Xane OTB. Released back in 2016, the single is still gaining numbers on SoundCloud, racking up 3.9 million views to date. The rapper recently released “Flex” with his Cinematic Music Group label mate, Flipp Dinero.

“I’m bringing a new age,” he says. “A new idea of what lyricism is.” Squid also points to his overall relatability within his demographic. “A lot of people are going to be able to connect with my music,” he states. It will make a lot of people happy.”

Whether it’s smoking weed or reminiscing about his childhood, the rapper stays driven and in the zone when creating. “[I] see myself as a brand,” he notes. If he’s not spitting, you may catch him on a runway. After going viral with his baby picture revamped with a face tattoo and diamond studs — a meme known as “If he’s 5, I’m 5” — his profile expanded to the extreme. He appeared in Hood by Air’s Spring/Summer 2017 show and 2018’s New York Fashion Week.

Squidnice doesn’t let all the fame gets to his head. He’s extremely happy with all his success while staying true to himself on the way to the top. “I don’t care about being the biggest; I want to be remembered as one of the best.”

Make sure you follow Squidnice on Twitter and Instagram and check out his new single “Flex.”

I love everything about hip-hop music and it's culture. Founder/producer/host for #StayOnTV. 'Purple Haze' and 'Illmatic' are my favorite albums and I love Lemon Pepper wings. Follow me! Instagram - @ashleytiffaney | Twitter - ashleytiffaney

The Story Behind Skyzoo’s “Honor Amongst Thieves” Outro

If you’ve slept on Skyzoo’s latest LP, In Celebration Of Us, then shame on you. It’s masterpiece centered around equal…

If you’ve slept on Skyzoo’s latest LP, In Celebration Of Us, then shame on you. It’s masterpiece centered around equal parts social injustice and commentary, and — more endearing — fatherhood, and the role it played in his life.

RELATED: Read my review of the album.

One of the more compelling tracks, the outro “Honour Amongst Thieves,” features a lengthy live recording of Skyzoo telling the story of how his Father played a quintessential role in his early life; a story made all the more touching considering he is now a father.

As Skyzoo explains, the story itself just came to him. “It [was told on] a public access network in Brooklyn called BRIC TV. I did a show with some people there,” he said. “They had this segment where it was storytellers … they had people come in to tell a story, any story that they wanted to a crowd. I was invited by a woman named Angela to be on that show. It was me, and a bunch of other people and everyone told their story over the course of like five or 10 minutes.”

As Skyzoo explains, he showed up unprepared. “I had a lot going on, but I promised I would do it. She’s a great person. So, I said, ‘Okay, let me do this,’ he says.

“I kind of didn’t think of a story ahead of time. I was ripping and running a lot. So, when I got there and the clock was ticking. It was like, ‘All right, this guy’s up next.’ I’m thinking: ‘what the hell am I going to talk about?’ And, then, it just came.

“It came to me on the spot. Once I did it, after the applause you hear and everything at the end, [I knew] it came out dope,” he said. “I asked the people at the network for the audio … I knew this would be fly to put on the album.”

Check out the full story, below.

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Manny P Makes Debut With Single/Video “Facts” [Interview]

Manny P is an artist to put on your watchlist for the coming months. In the meantime, check out his latest visual, “Facts.”

Rapper Manny P regards himself as molded by the culture of the world, having lived in Los Angeles, New Jersey, Vermont, London, and currently, the Mecca, New York City. “Music has always been apart of my life … since before I was born,” the Mexican rapper tells AAHH. “My mom did a lot of musical theatre back then, so [I] was backstage immersed in all that while still in the womb.

Currently working on his debut album, Manny has been recording music since High School. “My sound kinda goes anywhere from really abstract, highly personal, to turn up raps,” he says. “I don’t stick to one type of beat/sound. One minute I’m on a dark ass lofi beat rapping the whole shit in a real monotone voice, and the next I’m loud and expressive over something more up-tempo.”

“Different beats give me different energies … they put me in different places in my head,” he continues. “All the pieces come together [though] to make up the full picture.”

Manny cites Pro Era head honcho Joey Bada$$ as the reason He started rapping seriously. “I was chilling with some homies real late one school night, and one of them had thrown on ‘Suspect’ from his first mixtape 1999,” he notes. “I penned my first shit to that beat. The verse still sits at the top of my google doc … like 50 pages ago. Through him I learned about pro era, then beast coast, and all that spiritual third eye indigo shit – I used to be on that.”

He recently dropped his official debut single on all streaming services and doesn’t plan on slowing his pace going forward. “I’m working on a lot of music, getting a live set together so I can start doing some more shows, and eventually I’ll have an album,” he says.

Manny P is an artist to put on your watchlist for the coming months. In the meantime, check out his latest visual, “Facts,” a colourfully trippy, and engaging visual feast to accompany the must-bump single. Manny has a clear delivery, and some surprisingly focused bars for new artist. The instrumental has a soulful undertone, dripping with a late 90s southern tinge that seems to get more infectious with each listen.

Add this joint to your playlists!


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infectiously Optimistic: Meet Rapper Noah Wright

“I can fit into any role I can see myself in,” he says adamantly. “It’s just a matter of preparation and timing.“

Phoenix, Arizona, rapper Noah Wright—aka Daddy Fat Staxxx aka Phoenix The Misfit—was initially born in Iowa. “I’m cooling in the devil’s backyard,” he tells AAHH with a laugh. “I write music, balance my chakras, enjoy long walks to the bank, and occasionally getting caught up in some ratchet shit.”

“My music is life man.” he says when asked about his influences. “I’m inspired by my experiences, my family, friends, even my enemies … I feel have a message to give.” That message he’s describing finds its way into his music. “I just find the beat that I feel fits that conversation vibe the best,” he continues. “Almost like watching a movie on mute then choosing what you feel fits that scene best, but you are the creator and director of the whole operation.”

He fondly recalls how it al started when his family moved to Las Vegas. “I moved to [Vegas], and I met my friend Chris. He told me he was rapping and had a studio in his garage. One day I decided to check it out … it’s been on and popping ever since.”

When asked what he’s dropped so far, he laughs and states “Not enough,” before explaining, “I have too many songs that I create, maybe get halfway through and stash to revisit later but later rarely comes. As far as this year, I’ve dropped two singles and my tape Love, Noah.”

“I still got a long ways to go,” he says laying out his two-year plan to us. “I’ll tell my people about more as I wrap things up. Currently, I’m working on my next tape, two music videos, and upcoming performances.”

Among his most significant career achievements to date, he fondly cites meeting the legendary Rakim and opening up for him, and premiering—and selling out—a short film with his director Tony Kure. “We premiered it at Arizona Mills Mall and sold out,” he says. “It was wild yo.”

“My goal used to be to find a label, but at this point, I’ve given up on that desire,” he explains, noting that he wants to achieve financial stability independently. “[I want] my music to help me sustain the life I’m living now.”

Noah is on an ascent, and his confidence is infectious. “I can fit into any role I can see myself in,” he says adamantly. “It’s just a matter of preparation and timing.”

Check his latest project, below.

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Stalley’s Solo Ride

He’s a refreshing abnormality in the hip-hop game; a grounded rapper without a skewed sense of reality or inflated self-worth.

Stalley’s music doesn’t struggle with its identity. Born from the blue-collar sweat of Massillon, Ohio, its working man’s appeal creates an accessibility that welcomes us to his world. His projects are characterized by a raw blend of low-end trunk-rattling bass, and thought-provoking musings that showcase the highs and lows of an intimate game controlled by music industry pimps who pull strings. Punctuated by a massive beard, designer wears, and a trademark BCG (Blue Collar Gang) cap, Stalley’s wit and introspection bookend his genuine spirit and savvy microphone technique.

He recently took a few minutes to speak on his latest moves just 48 hours ahead of the release of Tell The Truth Shame The Devil Vol 2. We conducted the interview over a phone session where nothing felt off limits. His patience and warmth were undeniable, and what stood out was an intense passion for writing and recording music.

He’s a refreshing abnormality in the hip-hop game; a grounded rapper without a skewed sense of reality or inflated self-worth. He seemed hungry and perfectly comfortable riding one deep into 2018.

The new EP is volume 2, right? Did you intend to create two volumes or release it in pieces?

Yeah, when I first started the recording process, I just put my head down and got into the studio every day. I accumulated so many records, [so] it was the only way I felt I could I get all the music out. I really wanted it to be heard; it’s important because it’s some of the best music that I’ve done. I am open on the records about a lot of issues the fans have questions about. I’m giving people the answers through the music and also letting people know where I am in life at this moment. It’s actually planned as a trilogy. I wanted to break the music into parts, so it’s smaller and easier to focus on, rather than give you twenty records to digest. So yes, this is volume two, and there will be a volume three coming, and that will be it for the Tell The Truth Shame The Devil series.

You’ve been prolific the last eighteen months with New Wave, Another Level, Tell The Truth Shame The Devil (Vol 1 and 2). Is there a specific release schedule or are you getting music out as soon as it’s recorded and ready to go?

I just give it enough time where people have a chance to really sit with the music. I try to come with content and visuals for it, and once I feel like people are ready or excited about something new, I drop it. Most of the music is already done, but I definitely wait to hear from the fans. When they’re ready and asking for new music, asking online or asking at shows, it’s ready to go.

Another Level was a strong project with a mixtape feel. Was that music you had in the stash?

Yeah, with New Wave and Another Level I loved the attention and appreciation for those projects because I had been sitting on both for maybe a year and a half. I felt like it was time to clear out the Rolodex (laughs). It was time to release everything I had sitting. A lot of my friends tell me I’m a music hoarder. They say I record so much and hoard it. So I went through the hard drive I had sitting around and put a few bodies of work together, and as you said, they had an old-school mixtape feel teamed with that rawness and hunger. And man, I was excited about the response. People appreciated them.

Going all the way back to Lincoln Way Nights, I’ve felt like you’ve made music that’s honest and accessible but still had your unique spirit in it. That’s a testament to your blue-collar tendencies; that Ohio mindset.

Yes, that everyday man and everyday woman, that’s what I want.

Does that work ethic define you and your approach to making music?

Oh yeah, of course. Being from Ohio, and not only from Ohio but a small city in Ohio, and it not being a hotbed for hip-hop, I feel like you just have to outwork people. Whether it’s sports or entertainment, music, or even on some every day going to the steel factory. It feels like you have to give a little bit extra to get that recognition. But yeah, there’s a lot of talent, and that’s not taking away from the talent, but you have to be in people’s faces and work a little harder to let people know what you’ve got going on. It’s easy when you come from New York, Atlanta, Chicago or LA; people listen because you’re from a big city. But I pride myself on my blue collar work ethic and speaking to blue collar people. The everyday man and woman, they’re out there grinding towards their dream, like I have.

One of the lines from “1 Deep” says don’t ask me about nobody else but BCG (Blue Collar Gang), but you know I have to. Your music always felt more independent, left of the dial from the big money feel of MMG. In retrospect, would you say MMG was the right fit for you?

I think MMG was right for that moment or that era of my career. I feel like it was something that presented itself as a great opportunity. But yes, I definitely have that independent feel or independent grind. You know, I like to be able to record music and put it out in a way that is true to me.

That’s why people gravitate to your music. It’s about where you’re from and what you see but also who you are. It translates to an individual listening experience. Is that happening in music today? Is there a difference today between hip hop and rap?

People used to say that there was a gap between hip-hop and rap before. But now that gap is widening. Hip-hop and entertainment…there is a gap. I’m someone who has listened to hip-hop my whole life. I’ve had older people introduce me to some of the traditional artists like Tribe, Scarface, and Nas. I feel like back in the day, even when people had the conversation about hip-hop and rap, there was still some sort of lyrical message in the music. Some people may have argued that E-40 was rap, but Brand Nubian was hip hop. But if you listen to E-40, he was rapping. He had a message. He still had something to say. These days I’m not sure if everyone rapping has something to say.

There’s nothing wrong with a vibe, music right now is about energy. That vibe is the craft. But music is cyclical; it comes around. Where is the culture headed as we move into 2018?

The culture is shifting back to where music has something to say. Where we’re at politically and socially right now, people are feeling the importance of saying what needs to be said, so I feel like we’re getting back there in 2018.

I want to run through a few highlights from your catalog. Try and sum up the vibe of the song, or where your head was when it was recorded. Let’s start with “Pound”.

“Pound” is just powerful. It’s energetic. It’s Black and strong. It’s uplifting and motivating. That song is African warriors marching through the city.

“Petrin Hill Peonies.”

Man…that song is just freedom. Space and seclusion; just being away from the rest of the world.


“Samson” embodies Stalley. “Money every day that the beard grows” (laughs). It’s just all energy. It’s my identity. It’s an anthem that’s an introduction for anyone who doesn’t know who I am.

“Navajo Rugs.”

It’s about wanting to be perfect, every line just stitched in, knitted to be the perfect feel or vision. It’s about enjoying life and wanting to be better. It’s about paying attention to detail, to emotion, and to spirituality.


That’s Ohio. That’s Massillon. That’s my childhood growing up. That’s what we did; we rolled around with 808’s booming, just Chevy riding. That’s the feel.

“Madden 96.”

Man, that’s just about being very young and being introduced to the game. Just sitting around with the older homies while they’re smoking and drinking, playing the game while everyone is laughing and arguing. Then jumping into an Impala at night and riding around.

“Japanese Denim.”

That’s it right there. My favorite denim, pure attention to detail, it’s heavy and life-lasting. It’s built strong like my style and career. It’s authentic and timeless.

“1 Deep (Solo).”

That’s where I’m at right now. I’m one deep on a solo mission, riding and grinding. I’m a new man, a new me. There’s a new energy, and that song explains it all.

“Holy Quran.”

That’s the space where I’m at. I’m getting back to what I’m built on. God is always with me and controls everything. Knowing that with him anything is possible. With that book and those teachings, that’s what has built me as a man, an artist, as a father, as a brother, as a son…everything. I have songs on the new EP with more energy, but I wanted to lead with “Holy Quran” and let people feel that.

So what’s 2018 going to bring? Volume 2 is releasing at midnight on the 23rd. Volume 3 next, and then shows/tour?

I have a few stand-alone shows lined up for April. Volume 3 of Tell The Truth Shame The Devil will follow Volume 2, but I have no official release date for that yet. Then hopefully a tour in the spring/summer, be ready for that. And thank you for spreading the word.

Be sure to follow @Stalley on social media and pick up Vol 1 and 2 of Tell The Truth Shame The Devil on all major streaming platforms today. Also, check out our Stalley playlist on Spotify curated from the interview!

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